The Ripple Effects of Atlantic Salmon Conservation
For the past 20 years, Atlantic salmon have been protected in Maine. Although the population is still critically endangered, science and management efforts to support salmon recovery have also benefitted the entire ecosystem and local community. This info
The first image is color-coded in shades of blue and shows how salmon conservation benefits the community by supporting resilient fisheries, expanding recreational opportunities, reducing flood hazards, restoring the watershed, and celebrating fishing resources. The illustration shows a lobster boat in the distance with lobsters, striped bass, Atlantic cod, schooling salmon, and American eel in the foreground as examples of increased diversity in fish populations and fishery revenue. When watersheds are restored, it also opens up space and opportunities for recreation such as nature walks and watersports, represented in the illustration by a birdwatcher and people paddling a canoe. Drawings of marsh grasses represent a restored wetland that provides habitat and coastal protection from flood hazards. Represented by an Alewife Festival sign and tent, restoring rivers and natural resources also increases cultural value, community pride, and celebrates fishing resources.
The second image is color-coded in green colors and illustrates the science behind salmon conservation and a healthy ecosystem. When dams are removed and rivers are reconnected to the ocean, the freshwater habitat improves and ecosystems become more resilient. The illustration shows brook trout in the distance with an osprey and bald eagle in the sky to represent how predators return when resources improve and their prey increases. An image of an open river includes drawings of lamprey, smaller salmon, river herring, and striped bass to show the improved freshwater habitat that results from increased nutrient flow and productivity. Removing dams and restoring watersheds also allows fish to reach their spawning grounds and access fresh and saltwater habitats to increase fish populations and build more resilient ecosystems.